NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Why Do Outboard Powerboats Sink?
BoatU.S.' Seaworthy Scours Claims Files for The Answers
One Hint: Look to the Sky
In the first of a four-part series looking at the causes of recreational boat sinkings, the July issue of Seaworthy, the damage avoidance newsletter from BoatU.S. Marine Insurance, took a close look at the claims files and identified the myriad reasons why outboard powered vessels sink. This study can help boaters learn from other's mistakes and provide boat owners with more specific information on how to protect certain types of vessels.
The research confirmed that most boats sink while tied up at the dock, outnumbering sinking-while-underway claims four-to-one. Nearly half the outboard powered boats that sank at the dock were victims of heavy rain or snow. Ironically, almost all had “self-bailing” cockpits. The results are as follows:
Sinking At The Dock
Underwater Fittings 20%
Above the Waterline Fittings 10%
Poor Docking Arrangements 9%
Water Over Gunwales/Transom 9%
Sinking While Underway
Water Over Gunwales/Transom 32%
Livewell/Baitwell Plumbing 20%
Drain Plug 16%
Struck a Submerged Object 12%
Seaworthy Associate Editor Chuck Fort said, “If you want to reduce the risk of your outboard powerboat sinking at the dock, the best way is to use a good-fitting boat cover that keeps out precipitation. Also ensuring that Marelon or bronze fittings are used below the waterline can reduce your risk. This is a more common a problem on a used boat when a new owner may be unaware that a previous owner unwittingly installed a plastic fitting below the waterline that eventually degrades and cracks. When underway, outboard powered boat owners should be concerned about swamping from the transom. Transom wells are sometimes poorly designed and every effort should be made to prevent water, even from the boat's own wake, from entering the cockpit or bilge area.”
All BoatU.S. marine insurance policy holders get a free subscription to Seaworthy . Subscriptions are also available for $10 a year (4 issues) by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/seaworthy or by calling 800-262-8082, ext. 3276. If you'd like to get a free insurance quote for your boat, go to http://BoatUS.com/Insurance or call 800-283-2883.
BoatU.S. – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 665,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 835 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatU.S. Magazine , the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.